UPDATE III: Williams did shoot himself, but did not die from the wounds, update below.
Former journalist Bryce Williams aka Vester Lee Flanagan killed two broadcast TV journalists working a live morning feature shot near Smith Mountain Lake in southwestern Virginia early this morning.
Now he is in critical condition after earlier reports of his gunshot suicide were inaccurate.
Williams’ attempt to escape justice by his own hand has apparently failed.
The two Virginia journalists were victims of the worst cold-blooded murder.
The middle aged murderer captured the whole thing on a Go Pro camera and posted it to his personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The cold-blooded shooter had second thoughts about his mission, after quietly walking up to the three people engaged in a news broadcast. Williams raised his gun, thought about it and lowered it, then a few second later raised the weapon again firing three fatal shots at Alison Parker at which point recording ceased.
Both social networks have yanked the accounts in question, but a few internet users captured the video, which shows the shooter quietly approaching the two reporters whose attention is wholly focused on their task at hand.
The murder culminates in the cover photo of this story.
Out of respect for the fallen we are not running the video at this time as it adds nothing to further to the coverage of this tragedy, and to discourage those who would abuse social networks to brag about their killings.
Reporter Allison Parker and photographer Adam Ward had no reason to expect any violent action, and it is unknown at this time if either was armed with more than a camera during the 6:45am broadcast.
Their interview subject Vicki Gardner was wounded with a gunshot to the back and is currently undergoing surgery according to a report by the Roanoke Times.
Virginia State Police are actively pursuing the killer on Interstate Highway 64, but no apprehension has been made yet. Clearly, this shooter wanted to get away.
Williams/Flannagan had career in broadcast of more than 20 years, but according to his LinkedIn profile hadn’t worked at WDBJ since 2013.
It’s unknown at this time if he worked with either of the victims or merely wanted revenge on the station.
Update: The murderer’s twitter account purported specific grievances against the victims and claimed that a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had been made.
WDBJ has released the below image on twitter of the shooter dressed in black slacks and a long sleeve shirt holding a weapon in his right hand at 6:46am this morning at the scene of the murder.
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
The two Virginia broadcast TV journalists perished at 6:45am this morning, murdered in Bridgewater Plaza on Smith Mountain Lake, in Moneta – just outside of Roanoke, Va.
WDBJ has a video of the live broadcast depicting the 6-7 shots fired while the pair interviewed someone from the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce and according to General Manager Jeffrey Marks will release the video once the suspect has been detained and reporting is complete.
Parker was dating a WDBJ co-anchor and Ward was engaged to be married to one of the news team’s producers. It was Ward’s fiancee’s last day and he was planning to follow her onto the next job shortly thereafter.
Ward was about to move to Charlotte, NC.
Both journalists who made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of informing the public were in their mid-20s, and both were locals.
Both journalists were college grads who attended schools in state and returned to cover their hometown.
Both journalists were murdered on live TV.
According to their station WDBJ 7:
This happened during a live broadcast around 6:45 a.m.
Police are looking for a suspect who apparently opened fire on WDBJ7 photographer Adam Ward and WDBJ7 reporter Alison Parker.
Adam was 27-years-old. Alison just turned 24.
Both were from the WDBJ7 viewing area.
Adam graduated from Salem High School and Virginia Tech.
Alison grew up in Martinsville and attended Patrick Henry Community College and James Madison University.
We love you, Alison and Adam. pic.twitter.com/hLSzQi06XE
— WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
Ed. Note: Update 1) to add last tweets, to note that the murderer did know his victims 2) further description of complete video 3) noting failure of Williams’ attempt at suicide. This is a breaking story and may be further updated.